Forma ransomware removal instructions
What is Forma?
Discovered by GrujaRS, Forma is a high-risk computer infection that is classified as ransomware. Forma's developers use it to affect computers by encrypting data, thus making files unusable. Files are encrypted using SHA-2 (SHA-256) cryptography and victims cannot use their files unless a ransom is paid. Every encrypted file is renamed by addition of the ".locked" extension. For example, "1.jpg" is renamed to "1.jpg.locked". This ransomware also opens a full-screen pop-up window, changes the desktop wallpaper, and generates a text file (containing a ransom message).
Research shows that, although the entire ransom-demand message (wallpaper message, text within the .txt file, and pop-up window) is in Polish, it contains many grammatical errors. This indicates that cyber criminals are not native Polish speakers and have used a type of automatic translator. It is also safe to assume that Forma's developers target users who live in Poland. The ransom message essentially states that Forma has encrypted all files and only the developers can provide victims with a decryption key. They state that the deadline is 48 hours and if they are not contacted via the provided email address (email@example.com) within this period, decryption keys are automatically deleted. Furthermore, they urge victims not to turn off the computer or use third party decryption tools, since this might cause permanent data loss. They also promise to provide victims with a decryption key as soon as their demands are met. Note that ransomware developers often use cryptographies that generate unique keys. They store the keys on remote servers accessible only by them. Even if they make assurances to deliver decryption tools or keys, these people cannot be trusted. Most cyber criminals ignore victims even if all demands are met and ransoms are paid. Unfortunately, there are no tools currently capable of free decryption. The best way to retrieve files free of charge is to use an existing data backup and restore the locked files from there.
Screenshot of a message encouraging users to pay a ransom to decrypt their compromised data:
Ransomware-type viruses often have similar functionality: they encrypt stored data and display ransom demand messages (within text files, wallpapers, pop-up windows, etc.). The most common variables are cryptography algorithm used to encrypt data and cost of decryption key or tool/ransom size. Typically, it is impossible to decrypt data without the involvement of ransomware developers, unless the virus is not fully developed or contains bugs/flaws. To avoid data loss caused by ransomware-type infections, maintain regular backups and store them on unplugged storage devices or remote server (otherwise backups might be encrypted together with other data stored on the computer). Some examples of other similar ransomware-type programs are Doubleoffset, Gerber, and Outsider.
How did ransomware infect my computer?
The method by which cyber criminals proliferate Forma is unknown, however, they often use spam email campaigns, trojans, unsafe software download sources, and unofficial (fake) software updaters. Spam campaigns are used to proliferate these infections by sending many emails that contain malicious attachments (usually Microsoft Office documents, archive files, executable files, PDF documents, and so on). The main goal is to trick recipients into downloading and opening the attachment and installing malicious software. Trojans are malicious programs that, once installed, download/install other programs of this type. In this way, they cause chain infections. Unsafe/untrustworthy software download sources such as freeware download/file hosting websites, peer-to-peer (P2P) networks, unofficial websites, and other channels are used to proliferate viruses. In these cases, people download malicious executables (presented as legitimate files) and install malware. Unofficial/fake software updaters are used to download and install computer infections rather than the expected updates. These tools are often capable of exploiting outdated software (and any flaws).
|Threat Type||Ransomware, Crypto Virus, Files locker|
|Symptoms||Can't open files stored on your computer, previously functional files now have a different extension, for example my.docx.locked. A ransom demanding message is displayed on your desktop. Cyber criminals are asking to pay a ransom (usually in bitcoins) to unlock your files.|
|Distribution methods||Infected email attachments (macros), torrent websites, malicious ads.|
|Damage||All files are encrypted and cannot be opened without paying a ransom. Additional password stealing trojans and malware infections can be installed together with a ransomware infection.|
To eliminate Forma virus our malware researchers recommend scanning your computer with Spyhunter.
How to protect yourself from ransomware infections?
Do not open email attachments (or web links) that are presented in email messages received from suspicious, unknown addresses. If the attachment or link is irrelevant, ignore it and delete the email. Download software using official, trustworthy websites or other sources and direct links. Do not use third party downloaders such as torrents, eMule, and dubious (unofficial) websites. Use implemented functions or tools provided by official software developers to update software or the operating system. Have reputable anti-spyware or anti-virus software installed and enabled at all times. These tools can detect and remove computer infections before they can proliferate and do any damage. If your computer is already infected with Forma, we recommend running a scan with Spyhunter for Windows to automatically eliminate this ransomware.
Screenshot of Forma text file ("ODSZYFRFUJ_PLIKI_TERAZ.txt"):
Text presented in Forma text file:
In Polish (original):
UWAGA !!! WSZYSTKIE TWOJE PLIKI ZOSTALY ZAKODOWANE KLUCZEM SZYFRUJACYM! ODZYSKANIE PLIKOW JEST MOZLIWE TYLKO ZA POMOCA KLUCZA DESZYFRUJACEGO. NIC STRACONEGO, PRZEZ NASTĘPNE 48h POSIADAMY TWÓJ KLUCZ DESZYFRUJĄCY NA NASZYM SERWERZE! SKONTAKTUJ SIE POD ADRES EMAIL : firstname.lastname@example.org ABY ODZYSKAC DOSTEP DO PLIKOW - UWAGA! PO 48h OD ZASZYFROWANIA PLIKÓW TWÓJ KLUCZ DESZYFRUJĄCY ZOSTAJE AUTOMATYCZNIE USUNIĘTY Z NASZEGO SERWERA A ODZYSKANIE PLIKÓW STANIE SIĘ NIE MOŻLIWE. W ŻADNYM WYPADKU NIE ZAMYKAJ KOMPUTERA ANI PROGRAMU DESZYFRUJĄCEGO - MOŻE TO SPOWODOWAĆ UTRUDNIENIE W PRZYWRÓCENIU PLIKÓW. GWARANTUJEMY ODZYSKANIE WSZYSTKICH PLIKOW!
In English (translated using Google Translate):
ATTENTION !!! ALL YOUR FILES WERE CALLED WITH A CHARACTER KEY! RECOVERY OF FILES IS POSSIBLE ONLY WITH THE AID OF A DESZYRUIZING KEY. NOTHING LOST, BY THE NEXT 48h, WE HAVE YOUR KEY THAT IS TRANSFERS ON OUR SERVER! CONTACT EMAIL ADDRESS: email@example.com TO RECOVER ACCESS TO FILES - ATTENTION! AFTER 48 HOURS FROM FILE ERADING, YOUR SATISFACTION KEY IS AUTOMATICALLY DELETED FROM OUR SERVER AND THE RECOVERY OF FILES IS NOT POSSIBLE. IN NO EVENT, DO NOT CLOSE A COMPUTER OR A DESIRACKING PROGRAM - IT MAY CAUSE THE IMPROVEMENT IN THE RETRIEVATION OF FILES. WE GUARANTEE THE RECOVERY OF ALL FILES!
Screenshot of Forma desktop wallpaper:
Text presented in Forma desktop wallpaper and pop-up window:
In Polish (original):
UWAGA !!! WSZYSTKIE TWOJE PLIKI ZOSTALY ZASZYFROWANE i4 WOJSKOWĄ METODĄ SŁUŻB SPECJALNYCH SHA-256!
ODZYSKANIE PLIKOW JEST MOZLIWE TYLKO ZA POMOCA KLUCZA DESZYFRUJACEGO. 8
NIC STRACONEGO, PRZEZ NASTĘPNE 48h POSIADAMY TWÓJ KLUCZ : DESZYFRUJĄCY NA NASZYM SERWERZE!
SKONTAKTUJ SIE POD ADRES EMAIL firstname.lastname@example.org
ŁATWO I SZYBKO ODZYSKAC DOSTEP DO PLIKOW.
UWAGA! PO 48h OD ZASZYFROWANIA PLIKÓW TWÓJ KLUCZ DESZYFRUJĄCY ZOSTAJE AUTOMATYCZNIE USUNIĘTY Z NASZEGO SERWERA A ODZYSKANIE PLIKÓW STANIE SIĘ NIE MOŻLIWE! W ŻADNYM WYPADKU NIE ZAMYKAJ KOMPUTERA ANI PROGRAMU DESZYFRUJĄCEGO - MOŻE TO SPOWODOWAĆ UTRUDNIENIE W " PRZYWRÓCENIU PLIKÓW.
[ZMINIMALIZUJ ABY WYSŁAĆ WIADOMOŚĆ EMAIL] [JAK ODSZYFROWAĆ MOJE PLIKI?]
In English (translated using Google Translate):
ATTENTION !!! ALL YOUR FILES ARE ENROLLED AND 4 A MILITARY METHOD OF SPECIAL SHA-256 SERVICES!
RECOVERY OF FILES IS POSSIBLE ONLY WITH THE AID OF A DESZYRUIZING KEY. 8
NOTHING LOST, BY THE NEXT 48h, WE HAVE YOUR KEY: DESERVATING ON OUR SERVER!
CONTACT EMAIL ADDRESS email@example.com
EASILY AND FAST RECOVERING ACCESS TO FILES.
ATTENTION! AFTER 48 HOURS FROM FILE ERADING, YOUR SATISIBLE KEY IS AUTOMATICALLY REMOVED FROM OUR SERVER AND THE RECOVERY OF FILES IS NOT POSSIBLE! IN NO EVENT, DO NOT CLOSE A COMPUTER OR A DESIRACKING PROGRAM - THIS MAY CAUSE OBTAINMENT IN THE RESTORATION OF FILES.
[MINIMIZE TO SEND A EMAIL MESSAGE] [HOW TO MAKE MY FILES EARLY?]
Screenshot of files encrypted by Forma (".locked" extension):
Screenshot of a pop-up displayed after clicking "ZMINIMALIZUJ ABY WYSŁAĆ WIADOMOŚĆ EMAIL" button in the full-screen window (the same button also closes the entire window):
Screenshot of a pop-up displayed after clicking the "JAK ODSZYFROWAĆ MOJE PLIKI?" button in the full-screen window:
Forma ransomware removal:
Instant automatic removal of Forma virus:
Manual threat removal might be a lengthy and complicated process that requires advanced computer skills. Spyhunter is a professional automatic malware removal tool that is recommended to get rid of Forma virus. Download it by clicking the button below:
- What is Forma?
- STEP 1. Forma virus removal using safe mode with networking.
- STEP 2. Forma ransomware removal using System Restore.
Windows XP and Windows 7 users: Start your computer in Safe Mode. Click Start, click Shut Down, click Restart, click OK. During your computer start process, press the F8 key on your keyboard multiple times until you see the Windows Advanced Option menu, and then select Safe Mode with Networking from the list.
Video showing how to start Windows 7 in "Safe Mode with Networking":
Windows 8 users: Start Windows 8 is Safe Mode with Networking - Go to Windows 8 Start Screen, type Advanced, in the search results select Settings. Click Advanced startup options, in the opened "General PC Settings" window, select Advanced startup. Click the "Restart now" button. Your computer will now restart into the "Advanced Startup options menu". Click the "Troubleshoot" button, and then click the "Advanced options" button. In the advanced option screen, click "Startup settings". Click the "Restart" button. Your PC will restart into the Startup Settings screen. Press F5 to boot in Safe Mode with Networking.
Video showing how to start Windows 8 in "Safe Mode with Networking":
Windows 10 users: Click the Windows logo and select the Power icon. In the opened menu click "Restart" while holding "Shift" button on your keyboard. In the "choose an option" window click on the "Troubleshoot", next select "Advanced options". In the advanced options menu select "Startup Settings" and click on the "Restart" button. In the following window you should click the "F5" button on your keyboard. This will restart your operating system in safe mode with networking.
Video showing how to start Windows 10 in "Safe Mode with Networking":
Log in to the account infected with the Forma virus. Start your Internet browser and download a legitimate anti-spyware program. Update the anti-spyware software and start a full system scan. Remove all entries detected.
If you cannot start your computer in Safe Mode with Networking, try performing a System Restore.
Video showing how to remove ransomware virus using "Safe Mode with Command Prompt" and "System Restore":
1. During your computer start process, press the F8 key on your keyboard multiple times until the Windows Advanced Options menu appears, and then select Safe Mode with Command Prompt from the list and press ENTER.
2. When Command Prompt mode loads, enter the following line: cd restore and press ENTER.
3. Next, type this line: rstrui.exe and press ENTER.
4. In the opened window, click "Next".
5. Select one of the available Restore Points and click "Next" (this will restore your computer system to an earlier time and date, prior to the Forma ransomware virus infiltrating your PC).
6. In the opened window, click "Yes".
7. After restoring your computer to a previous date, download and scan your PC with recommended malware removal software to eliminate any remaining Forma ransomware files.
To restore individual files encrypted by this ransomware, try using Windows Previous Versions feature. This method is only effective if the System Restore function was enabled on an infected operating system. Note that some variants of Forma are known to remove Shadow Volume Copies of the files, so this method may not work on all computers.
To restore a file, right-click over it, go into Properties, and select the Previous Versions tab. If the relevant file has a Restore Point, select it and click the "Restore" button.
If you cannot start your computer in Safe Mode with Networking (or with Command Prompt), boot your computer using a rescue disk. Some variants of ransomware disable Safe Mode making its removal complicated. For this step, you require access to another computer.
To protect your computer from file encryption ransomware such as this, use reputable antivirus and anti-spyware programs. As an extra protection method, you can use programs called HitmanPro.Alert and EasySync CryptoMonitor, which artificially implant group policy objects into the registry to block rogue programs such as Forma ransomware.
Note that Windows 10 Fall Creators Update includes a "Controlled Folder Access" feature that blocks ransomware attempts to encrypt your files. By default, this feature automatically protects files stored in the Documents, Pictures, Videos, Music, Favorites as well as Desktop folders.
Windows 10 users should install this update to protect their data from ransomware attacks. Here is more information on how to get this update and add an additional protection layer from ransomware infections.
HitmanPro.Alert CryptoGuard - detects encryption of files and neutralises any attempts without need for user-intervention:
Malwarebytes Anti-Ransomware Beta uses advanced proactive technology that monitors ransomware activity and terminates it immediately - before reaching users' files:
- The best way to avoid damage from ransomware infections is to maintain regular up-to-date backups. More information on online backup solutions and data recovery software Here.
Other tools known to remove Forma ransomware: